Blog Editor-in-Chief

Future S/4 Modifications and Steampunk

“Keep the core clean” is an old and justified concern. Even back in the R/3 days, there were SAP customers who prevented any sort of Abap modifications—even if the users' call for individualization was great. With S/4, the demand for a release-ready system without modifications has increased even more. Only through modifications in the core and with steampunk on the BTP can an ERP gain significant added value.

SAP Build or clean core

It’s not easy for customers to find their way through the labyrinth of SAP’s numerous offerings, roadmaps, software products, and recommendations. With the advent of the cloud computing era, many called for unmodifiable standards and a clean core. But SAP also offers the Business Technology Platform with Embedded Abap, a.k.a. Steampunk, as a solution for individual tasks. Both sides, of course, have their justification. However, SAP customers are also forced to find their way through a jungle of offerings.

Option 1—Clean Public Cloud

The SAP public cloud gets by with virtually no modifications because it is a standardized offering that thrives on being unchangeable and everywhere at the same time. This results in the advantages of automated testing and relatively low operating costs.

Option 2—Build program and Steampunk

But because sustainable added value is often only created through modifications, Abap programming has a long tradition in the SAP community. For a long time, customization in the Z Namespace was a real competitive advantage. For those unaware, a namespace is a format that allows custom developments that must be officially registered through SAP before they can be released and used.

However, in the transition to S/4, the multitude of Abap modifications available act as a stumbling block. Nevertheless, SAP will continue to promote custom problem solving with the Build program and the new Embedded Abap, or Steampunk. Abap RESTful Application Programming (RAP), Cloud Application Programming (CAP), Low-Code/No-Code with SAP Build and Steampunk as Embedded Abap are just a small sample of the ways SAP customers will be able to modify their ERP systems in the future.


One of the SAP community’s major achievements is the continuation of the Abap programming tradition with Embedded Abap on the Business Technology Platform. Steampunk is the name for this new variant, and some experts are predicting nothing less than a revolution in the SAP community for this framework. With Steampunk and other components from the SAP Build program, customers will be able to plan and implement their ERP systems’ continued development in a much more autonomous and detailed manner in the future. To learn more about this current development, there will be a Steampunk Summit on February 29 and March 1, 2024 in Heidelberg, Germany, not far from the SAP headquarters in Walldorf. So, for those of you who speak German—save the date!

Any questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know in a comment below.

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Sign up for e3zine´s biweekly newsbites

Please do not use administrative mail adresses like "noreply@..", "admin@.." or similar as these may get blocked for security reasons.

We use rapidmail for dispatching our newsletter. By signing up, you agree that the data you have entered will be transmitted to rapidmail. Please take note of their terms and conditions and privacy policy.termsandconditions.

Our Authors